TOWSON, Md. -
The Loch Raven Village community on Towson's east side is pretty far removed from the school overcrowding on the west side
, so they never thought redistricting would impact them, but they thought wrong.
"They say they're going to have 500 new seats by reopening Loch Raven Elementary,” said Lorri McCleary, “However they also plan on moving an entire student body of Halstead Academy to that school."
As part of the superintendent's plan, Halstead Academy would be emptied out to make way for a new countywide school.
"Having it be a 100 percent commuter school---that potentially could be a problem," said Gary Herswig, president of the Associates of Loch Raven Village, "I don't see how the infrastructure's going to support bussing 10,12, 15 busloads of kids there on a daily basis. It's just not that big."
There is also concern that along with Pleasant Plains Elementary School and Halstead Academy, the neighborhood would become home to a third Title I school, which could drive down property values.
For its part, the school administration says it's given the public six months to share those concerns.
"It's very important that folks understand that coming out and expressing your views and your opinions and giving us input and feedback is something that's positive and we look at it that way," said Mychael Dickerson, the system’s chief communications officer.
But even if administrators are looking, critics of the plan are convinced they're not listening based on one such meeting last week.
"At Carver last Tuesday, popularity of choice was the most highly considered thing in this decision-making and when he said ours was 100%, we were on board for this, there was a big uprising in the crowd and we didn't feel like we had been heard," said McCleary.
As part of that plan, the system would build an addition on to Cromwell Valley Elementary to add almost 300 seats.
All of the changes would not be implemented until the 2016-2017 school year.
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